03-14 13:56   参考消息网  

How Online MBAs Are Winning over Employers by Degrees


Seb Murray 塞卜·默里

Each year, Fiat Chrysler recruits 50 people globally into a leadership programme, most of whom have MBAs. The carmaker insists that it treats graduates of online and full-time MBAs the same when it assesses applications.

“Online MBA students are equally as competitive as those attending classes on campus,” says Kathryn Lee,human resources director for North America at Fiat Chrysler.

Employers' attitudes vary, however. While some companies recognise the qualities demonstrated by studying online, such as independence and self-motivation, others prefer the familiarity of the traditional campus degree.

Companies eager to find more experienced graduates often perceive advantages in recruiting from online courses. For example, the average online MBA participant at London's Imperial College Business School is 35, with 11 years of work experience, whereas the average full-time student at the school is 29, with six years' experience.

An online MBA can also demonstrate that a candidate is adept at managing multiple priorities. “People who do online programmes usually have a wealth of experience, work full-time and balance the demands of their position with the MBA,” says Ms Lee at Fiat Chrysler. “They display qualities that are important in people we hire — a strong work ethic, project management and critical thinking skills.”

However, she adds that reputation, brand and accreditation are more important for online MBAs because they are newer to the market. “A course without a strong reputation would be a concern because it indicates poor candidate quality. We look at benchmark data on the quality of online programmes — rankings.”

People studying for MBAs online are not always seeking a new employer. Last year at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, only 16 of the 33 online MBA students sought a job at a new company.

Of those, 75 per cent had an offer within three months of graduation. Technology and finance were the largest recruiting sectors, followed by consulting. The average salary across the cohort was $116,800, a 38 per cent increase on pre-MBA pay of $84,500.

Andrew Stevens is a 2016 graduate of the two-year,

$60,000 Carey Online MBA at Arizona State University in the US. The 30-year-old stresses the importance of the career services team, which he says helped him secure a customer management job at McKesson, the healthcare supply chain company. “We had the same level of career support as campus students,” Mr Stevens says.

Some employers still have reservations, however — for example that students may miss out on group collaboration. Being able to work with a wide variety of people is among the top five skills sought by MBA recruiters, according to FT data. “The ability to interact with other participants and build communication skills is a concern,” says Lisa Umenyiora, director of Imperial's careers service.

Another concern for recruiters is that online MBAs are often smaller than campus courses, partly by design,as it is difficult to manage large online groups.

Sandy Khan, founder of IN-CO, says, “If you have a large number of jobs to fill, it makes more sense to go to a course with a large volume of candidates, which tend to be campus programmes.”

Ms Khan, who was previously an MBA recruitment manager at Google, adds that some business schools still need to educate employers on the benefits of hiring online students. “Even in blue-chip, multinational brands, you would be surprised by how many recruiters do not even know what an online MBA is.”